How to get his attention? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Question How to get his attention?

So today was one of my few frustrating times I've had with my pup...

I keep him on a lead in the house and I had him with me while I was in the office but he was trying to get into EVERYTHING! I could not get his attention for anything, he was just acting like I wasn't there.

He's only 9 weeks granted... I tried giving him some toys, playing tug with him but he'd only be interested for a few minutes then wanted to get back to looking for stuff to get into to.

I've been pretty sick for about a week so he hasn't been getting 'a lot' of exercise though I try. I am starting to feel a little better and I took him on a half hour walk yesterday and a car ride/store socialization trip. But he's been asleep most of the morning and afternoon and I wasn't making him, he was tethered on the floor next to me with a bunch of toys and chews and he just slept.

But what is a good way to get his attention when he's acting this way? Is this just a baby thing? I think I remember my golden being this way somewhat.

I'm going to start more obedience at home with him now that I have the energy to do so and he starts puppy class in a couple weeks.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 09:50 PM
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Focus is a command on its own. Watch me is a good command and with practice they get it pretty quick. Just tell him watch me, once he looks at you(your eyes) give a treat and praise...repeat often

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 12:27 AM
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We're still working on 'focus' stuff a lot! Grim ignores me until I pull out the 'super stern' voice. He's 17 weeks and he'd rather ignore me, LOL! Granted, he'll get out of what he's into (usually) when I do this, but I'd rather he paid attention. I hope it gets better for you. If he didn't hear everything else, I'd swear he was hard of hearing!! Take comfort in the fact that your boy sleeps.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 09:20 AM
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CarrieSue ... what worked for me when Ky was getting into everything and I needed to get something done (i.e. clean bird cages LOL) ... outside for a 20-30 minute session of rough and tumble play, tug, etc. Just burning off that energy. Then, back in the house, and I'd crate her so I could do what I needed to do.

Once I was done what I needed to do, back out of the crate and then take it from there. I learned very quickly with Kyleigh at THAT age, that if I really needed something to get done, she couldn't be underfoot, or even there.

I discovered, with Kyleigh anyway, that if she wasn't paying attention to me, then do something that would burn the energy, and then go back to what I wanted her to do (focus, whatever). It's tough when they are so young because all they want to do is play play play!

Now, it's so not an issue, and I'm very happy she has grown up LOL

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 09:29 AM
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Remember, he is a baby. His attention span is that of a knat. Don't expect him to focus for any length of time. If you are able to re-direct him for a 'few minutes' your pup is doing wonderful!

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyleigh View Post
CarrieSue ... what worked for me when Ky was getting into everything and I needed to get something done (i.e. clean bird cages LOL) ... outside for a 20-30 minute session of rough and tumble play, tug, etc. Just burning off that energy. Then, back in the house, and I'd crate her so I could do what I needed to do.

Once I was done what I needed to do, back out of the crate and then take it from there. I learned very quickly with Kyleigh at THAT age, that if I really needed something to get done, she couldn't be underfoot, or even there.

I discovered, with Kyleigh anyway, that if she wasn't paying attention to me, then do something that would burn the energy, and then go back to what I wanted her to do (focus, whatever). It's tough when they are so young because all they want to do is play play play!

Now, it's so not an issue, and I'm very happy she has grown up LOL
THIS!!! Excellent advice. Expecting a young puppy to act all calm and good when they just NEED to run and play and burn off TONS of energy, is just an exercise in frustration. Once the pup's needs are met this way, then you can focus on what you need to do.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 10:04 AM
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What Kyleigh, Lilie, and Castlemaid said! That sounds like a pretty typical puppy attention span. When mine were that age I did a lot of reinforcing of attention by marking and rewarding, without giving any commands and without any particular expectations. I'd set aside a few minutes a day or several times a day and we'd just hang out together without a lot of distractions and I'd click/treat for eye contact.

Later I added a cue (watch), but I also want a strong foundation of default eye contact - the more you reinforce something the more your dog will offer it up. And when puppy was just all over the place and wouldn't be distracted with a toy, or when I had things to do and couldn't watch her every second, or she was getting on my last nerve, Halo would go into her crate.

Often she just needed a little nap, like an overtired toddler. That would usually happen shortly after an attack of the zoomies - she'd tuck in her butt and fold back her ears, and charge around the house like a wild thing and then BAM, she was done.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! And you're right, after about 5 minutes of 'Ollie! Ollllieee... woohoo, earth to Ollie!' I realized I was being silly and just frustrating myself while my pup was having a grand time so I put him in his playpen with some yummy treats and gave myself some down time!

I did sit down with him today and worked on sit(which he learned yesterday in about 2 minutes), down and leave it and he gave me about 4 minutes of complete focused attention, lol!

We'll be starting puppy class in about two weeks and I've done this class before so I know we'll work on focus there but I'll try at home too... it's just ruff(see what I did there) because EVERYTHING distracts him. Oi puppies.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 01:32 AM
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Are you feeling better now? Did you get into the doctor's office?

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 08:03 AM
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Oh, for sure what Kyleigh said!

Crates are a mercy. LOL Sometimes, you just have to crate them to get anything done. I'm glad my pup isn't afraid of the vacuum, but holy Hannah, trying to clean was a real pain with her biting the broom and pouncing on the vacuum, so into her crate she goes! lol
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